Community Ecology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 95–99 | Cite as

Measuring taxonomic diversity with parametric information functions

  • C. RicottaEmail author


This paper discusses the measurement of taxonomic diversity of a given community or set of species. First, given D, the matrix of pairwise distances between species, I propose to summarize taxonomic diversity through Rényi’s information-theoretical parametric formalism on D. In this way, a family of taxonomic diversity indices is obtained which shows different sensitivity to the presence of species with different levels of taxonomic distinctness. The adequacy of information-theoretical indices for quantifying taxonomic diversity is discussed.


Diversity profiles Information theory Rényi’s generalized information Schur-concavity Set monotonicity 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2001

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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